Colmore Business District (CBD) is gearing up for a programme of festivals and events which will show off animate Birmingham's commercial quarter this summer.

The 'Crossing the Bridge' sculpture trail, by the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists', starts next week and will link Colmore Row with the Jewellery Quarter.

Taking place from June 23 to August 23, the trail encompasses 17 venues in the CBD and Jewellery Quarter, displaying over 50 sculptures.

Co-funded by Colmore BID, the trail will highlight the history and culture of the area and the connections between Birmingham's artists and the city.

The flagship event, the CBD Food Festival, is back for its fourth year on July 18 and 19, in Victoria Square, and will showcase the food and drink offering in the city's business quarter.

Twenty-four local venues are offering tasters of signature dishes and drinks while crowds will be entertained by live music and theatre.

Two renowned music festivals are also coming to the area as Colmore Business Improvement District (BID) has partnered with the Music for Youth National Festival to host live performances from July 8 to 12.

Live jazz and blues music will be back from July 18 to 25 with the Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival.

A programme of lunchtime rehearsals has commenced for the Colmore Chorus choir, made up of people working in the business district, in preparation for performances at the CBD Food Festival.

Colmore BID has also partnered with DanceXchange to offer a pilot series of lunchtime pilates and after work street dance sessions to employees in CBD, focussed on health and well-being.

BID executive director Michele Wilby said: "Festivals and events have always been a key part of our activities to create a better business district.

"At a time when Birmingham is being highlighted as a city of festivals, it is important that we embrace this to provide a vibrant and comprehensive programme of festivals and events for employees, residents and visitors to enjoy.

"We have a fantastic programme this summer, all with free entry, and we hope people take full advantage of what's on offer."

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